If the Eagles really covet Henry Ruggs III at pick No. 21 in April’s draft, then they are going to have to trade up.
GM Howie Roseman alluded to the idea of Philadelphia making a move on Tuesday when he addressed the media. He admitted that the franchise has missed out on guys ranked high on their board in previous years because they didn’t have the capital to jump up. With an estimated 10 picks in this year’s draft, the Eagles are in prime position to broker a deal that would net them Ruggs.
According to Cecil Lammey of Sports Radio 104.3 in Denver, the Broncos are targeting Ruggs at No. 15 and there is a strong buzz at the NFL Combine that three teams are looking to trade up. Those teams include the Eagles, Bills and Saints. The receiver-challenged Patriots could be a dark horse to move, too.
The asking price for Ruggs may get even higher on Thursday night when he runs the 40-yard dash, especially if he runs it in 4.2 seconds or lower. Many analysts and experts already have Ruggs listed as a Top-3 receiver in this draft class, right after CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy.
“I firmly believe Henry Ruggs is in that discussion,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “I think it’s a three-man race to be the first receiver.”
Jeremiah also thinks the speedster from Alabama has a legitimate shot to break John Ross’ combine record time of 4.22 seconds, set in 2017. Ruggs was his top pick out of five potential record-breakers.
When I watch Alabama’s offense, I can’t take my eyes off Henry Ruggs. His speed leaps off the screen, both at the line of scrimmage and after the catch. He obliterates pursuit angles down the field and does so in effortless fashion. While in high school, Ruggs broke the Alabama state record in the 100 meters (10.58). Running the 40 last spring, he was timed in the 4.2s by NFL scouts. He is a legitimate threat to break Ross’ record.
Ruggs Comes from Family of Speedsters
Imagine a family where Henry Ruggs III was the slowest relative. OK, that’s a stretch. But his mother, Nataki Ruggs, was a high school track star and told a story of once running the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.23 seconds. Unfortunately, her career was cut short due to a serious knee injury.
Is Nataki’s story a tall tale or a true story? According to Henry, it’s an exaggeration and one he isn’t quite buying.
“If you ask me, she never ran that time,” Ruggs said, via The Inquirer‘s Les Bowen. “I knew she was pretty fast. She used to run in the neighborhood, run against guys all the time and beat them. And we used to race when I was young – but I was young. I was small, didn’t have long legs, didn’t really know too much about running.”
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